Daily Times : UK to deport ‘terror plot suspects’

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

UK to deport ‘terror plot suspects’

Daily Times Monitor | April 14, 2009

LAHORE: Lacking evidence needed to prosecute most of the Pakistani men arrested last week on suspicion of a terrorist plot, Britain has started seeking assurances that they would be treated humanely if they are returned to Pakistan.

“The British wanted to be reassured that if some of these men were deported they would not face torture,” a Pakistani official told The Times newspaper.

Senior counter-terrorism sources in Britain told the paper most of them would be deported rather than charged.

One of the 12 has already been freed from anti-terrorist detention and is in the custody of immigration officials.

Investigators have not found firm evidence linking the men to terrorist attack plans. “There is already talk of coming up empty-handed and there is terrible infighting between the different forces involved,” an official said.

Mere deportations will embarrass the prime minister who announced police were dealing with “a very big terrorist plot”.

Meanwhile anti-terrorist agencies in Pakistan are holding a British convert to Islam. James McLintock, 44, was arrested in Peshawar and is being questioned about helping British Muslim militants to make contacts in Pakistan.

Pakistani as well as British officials have said that the arrest is not linked to the continuing terrorism investigation in Britain. The last time McLintock came to the attention of the British authorities was in late 2003 when he was questioned by anti-terrorism police in Manchester.